About TS > Glossary
Anxiety - Can show as sleep difficulties, tension habits, motor unrest, phobias, worries, poor concentration, or panic attacks.
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) - Children may show signs of hyperactivity before TS symptoms appear. Signs include: poor concentration; failing to finish what is started; not listening; being easily distracted; often acting before thinking; shifting constantly from one activity to another; and general fidgeting. This starts before the age of 7 and causes problems in school and at home. Adults too may show signs of ADHD such as impulsive behaviour and concentration difficulties.
Conduct disorder - Can show as persistent and repetitive lying, stealing, truancy, starting fires, vandalism, fighting, or cruelty to animals.
Copropraxia and coprolalia - Copropraxia means making obscene or otherwise unacceptable movements or gestures. Coprolalia means using obscene or unacceptable language. This may involve swearing (though only 10 percent of people with TS have coprolalia) or racist remarks. Coprolalia can cause serious problems at school, in society and at work. It is particularly sad that the words uttered usually bear no relation to the true feelings of the speaker.
Depression - Should always be taken seriously. It is treatable and medical advice should be sought. In TS depression is most commonly seen in people with severe tics, sleep disturbances or OCD.
Echophenomena - Repeating other people’s words (echolalia) and other people’s gestures (echopraxia). Common in TS.
Inappropriate sexual behaviour - usually involves touching the person’s own or other people’s genitals.
NOSI - Non-Obscene Socially Inappropriate behaviour, involves saying things that are socially unacceptable, for example personal remarks about height, weight or facial features.
Obsessive Compulsive and Ritualistic Behaviours - A person feels that something must be done over and over. Examples include touching an object with one hand after touching it with the other hand to "even things up" or repeatedly flicking the light switch on and off. In more serious cases, the obsession may be around sexual, violent, religious or aggressive themes. Compulsions typically include checking, ordering, counting, repeating, getting things "just right" or symmetrical, or forced touching.This a different spectrum from the symptoms of "pure" obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD).
Other psychopathology - Examples include rage attacks/aggression, oppositional defiant disorder, inappropriate sexual behaviour.
Rage attacks - can be frightening and destructive. Once begun, a rage attack has to be left to run its course. Rage may be linked to tic suppression.
Paliphenomena - Similar to echophenomena. Involves the person with TS repeating their own words and actions such as "Hello, I came here by bus bus bus bus".
SIB - Self-injurious behaviour. It includes punching and slapping the head, face or body, or scratching or sticking sharp objects into the body, including the eyes. It can be an obsessional behaviour.
Sleep Disorders - These include frequent awakenings, or walking or talking in your sleep. They are fairly common among people with TS.